Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Listen to Your Conscience

It is rather easy and painless to ignore or silence the little voice within us, our conscience. It is our conscience where God speaks to us about right and wrong, good and evil, and what is loving or selfish. John Stott said of our conscience, “It was your great American wit, Mark Twain, who once said, "Man is the only animal that blushes, and the only animal that needs to." We are ashamed, are we not, of things we've done in the past? Nobody is free who is unforgiven. Instead of being able to look God in the face or to look one another in the face, we want to run away and hide when our conscience troubles us.”

Let us all determine to listen to God when He speaks to our hearts through our conscience and obey all that He tells us. If we have sinned, may we be quick to respond to the Spirit of God speaking through our conscience and repent. Godly sorry finds forgiveness from God and the grace to change. Paul determined to please God with a blameless conscience, “There shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.” Acts 24:15-16 What motivated Paul to always maintain a blameless conscience? The resurrection - his resurrection! He knew he would see God, and His love for Jesus Christ motivated him to please God with a blameless conscience.

You will see Jesus too! Are you keenly aware of that fact? Are you living your life with a blameless conscience? Ask God for the grace to do so. Ask others for their prayer and support to follow the little voice of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Christianity is like a Marathon


“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1

We are going to learn how the Christian life is similar to running a marathon (26.2 miles/42 kilometers). It is a long race, not a sprint. It is a lifetime spiritual journey that is compared to a physical race.

First of all, are you aware that you are in the race? You are not in the stands watching. You were entered the moment you gave your life to Jesus Christ. You may not be doing well in the race because you did not know you were in it! The race is not just for the pastor, professional or paid staff. It is for all believers! There are NO spectators!

Our instruction for running a good race for God begins with the crowd. There is a crowd of spectators in heaven watching you. Jesus, the Father, Moses, Sarah, Abraham, Paul, David, Mary and thousands of others are watching you run this race. They are not watching passively. They know this is a matter of eternal consequences. Lives are in the balance. They are cheering for you! Jesus Christ is praying for you constantly! “He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25

When I run a race it makes a huge difference to have people cheering for me! There are many times I have wanted to quit and someone on the sidelines has said an encouraging word, offered a cup of water or clapped. It is hard when you are alone. The crowd can play a significant role. In football they can be the 12th man, in basketball they can be the 6th player and in running they are your teammates! Know that you are not alone. God is with you all the time. (Hebrews 13:5,6) There are thousands encouraging you here and from heaven. Look up and see them cheering for you and you will keep running to win for Christ!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What Do You Want For Lunch?

But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." John 4:32

God is working everywhere, and if we look, we will see it! When we see it, then we can join Him in transforming lives for eternity.

Once Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman whom He transformed, and then she left to tell her city about Jesus. The disciples had gone to get lunch, and when they returned, they were amazed that Jesus was speaking to a woman, and a Samaritan one at that! "Then Jesus said to them, 'Do you not say, "There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest"? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest'" (John 4:35). What harvest? The Samaritan woman! Why did Jesus tell the disciples to "lift up your eyes?" Because they missed the harvest right there in front of them! God was working, but they had failed to see it.

Jesus informed His disciples as to the source of His energy: "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work." The work, in the context, was leading the Samarian woman to salvation. Jesus was energized by showing her respect, speaking the truth in love, and meeting her deepest need.

Lift up your eyes and look on the harvest of thirsty souls around you, and join God in His work. Get your eyes off yourself, your problems, and your needs by trusting God with them. Then look and notice the lives around you-prayerfully enter their world, listen to their anxious thoughts, and point them to the Living Water, who alone can satisfy their thirsty soul.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nelson Newsletter–July 2013

The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.' - Billy Graham

Dear Praying ­Friends, ­­­­­­­­­­­

We thank God for friends like you who know God personally and understand that life is not a constant high, but rather filled with challenges to our faith, our emotions, and our hearts. Your prayers sustain us and keep us encouraged. You are making a difference!

Couples Conference Danelle and I had an excellent time teaching a marriage seminar in Columbia, SC in June. We stayed with our good friends Russ and Kim Humphries and met with their home group. Their openness and hunger for God’s truth about relationships and raising children made it a pleasure for us to lead. The photo is from our Saturday morning session. clip_image002

GCC Pastor’s Conference Steve always enjoys the GCC national Pastor’s Conference teaching, and time to catch up with fellow pastors. The theme, “Just Sow It” - training every church member to sow the gospel daily, is what our house church has been trying to practice for months. It reinvigorated some of us to complete our testimony tracts and others to keep on being faithful in the gospel.

LINC in St. Petersburg, Florida Danelle and I saw God answer your prayers for us and the college students at LINC in St. Petersburg. God gave Steve grace to teach relevant and helpful seminars. We also joined in the outreach on a local college and in the city. The photo below is of Jean Wan from Clemson (Go Tigers! Smile), and Steve. They were able to share the gospel with many students; one of them has met with Jean since then for discipleship. Every day we had individual meetings with the interns as well as counseling sessions - it was a rewarding and meaningful time!


House Church Outreach We will have an outreach July 27th at several apartment complexes here in Atlanta. Some believers from Columbia, SC are coming over to share the gospel with us. Please pray for boldness and for the Spirit to bring conviction to those we meet.

clip_image002[4]                                                                                              Some of our grand children at our house –July 4th. All 25 members of our family were able to be together! 

Prayer Requests

1. Outreach July 27th – pray for an effective and fruitful time in us and unbelievers we meet.

2. The finances to print Secure In An Insecure World in Spanish and reprint it in English.

Thankful for your faithful partnership! ­­

Steve and Danelle